nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

out of place

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One of the advantages of belonging to a regional writing group — regular opportunities to refresh the writing mind and put new tools in the writer’s kit.

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This past month at WordsFall, an annual event of the New Brunswick Writers’ Federation, I took a course from well-known poet Lynn Davies (author of how the gods pour tea, 2013, Goose Lane Editions, The Bridge That Carries the Road, 1999, Brick Books, and others). Lynn’s course Paper Moon, Paper Shoe: Writing and Collage introduced me to an new idea, using paper collage to inspire and renew.

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In a couple of very enjoyable hours, Lynn showed us how to build a collage from magazine images and other paper scraps. She showed us examples of collages she had made and set us to work on our own collage. Her instructions were to select images that appealed to us at the moment and not overthink the choice of images. After the images were glued to a card, we took some time to write about the collage and the ideas it suggested.

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Here is the collage I produced and the resulting poem.

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out of place

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An orange tree

in temperate soil,

among caraway

and dill.

One red tile

in a zigzag

of black and white.

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Shoes take me

for a walk

in barley grass

and caraway.

Melon rinds

on size five feet.

Too slippery, too wide.

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Garlic and dill

by lantern-light.

Ten after ten

on the hall clock.

Pickles and port

and a splash

of blackberry wine.

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Floor-plan,

when the lights go out,

makes no sense at all.

Dormer rooms

too tight

and me too tall.

Caraway among the dill.

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Salt on wounds.

Seeds in pickle jars.

Willow trees scratch

at window glass.

Garlic to banish

grinning skulls,

creep beneath tiles.

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Next time you struggle for inspiration, consider generating some new ideas with collage.

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All my best,

Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm

covered bridges

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If you follow this blog, you know how much I love covered bridges. We are so lucky in New Brunswick to have 58 remaining covered bridges, but we lose some almost every year, to vandalism, neglect, fire or flood.

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I have included covered bridges in my art for years. My first covered bridge painting was of an anonymous bridge. My dad asked me to paint a large mural (8′ x 4′) in our rec room at home and this was the result …

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covered bridge mural Enfield painted about 1974

‘a covered bridge in winter’ Jane Spavold (Tims)

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When I first arrived in New Brunswick, many of our local trips involved visits to covered bridges. In 1992, as a project to celebrate Canada’s 125th anniversary, my son, husband and I visited many bridges in southern New Brunswick. Last year, my husband and I found this notation on one of those bridges — our initials!

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2015 037_crop

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During those days, I was busy with work and painting covered bridges was not a priority, but in 2013, I painted one rather uninspired watercolour of the Marven Covered Bridge near Sussex.

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‘Marven Covered Bridge, Kings County’ Jane Tims

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In 2015,  as part of a project under artsnb (the New Brunswick’s Arts Board) and a Creations Grant, my husband and I visited 35 covered bridges, mostly in the Saint John River watershed. The results of the project are the poems and art contained in my book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge‘ (Chapel Street editions, 2017). The cover of the book shows one of the paintings I did of the Malone Covered Bridge.

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September 24, 2016 'apple tree, Malone Bridge' Jane Tims (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).JPG

‘apple tree, Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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One of the drawings for the book captured a covered bridge now lost due to carelessness, the French Village Bridge over the Hammond River.

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In the next months, based on other black and white drawings in the book, I did two more covered bridge paintings for the on-going art auction at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton.

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‘thistles at the Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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‘chokecherries at the Ellis Bridge’ Jane Tims

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A neighbour of mine saw the Ellis Bridge painting and commissioned me to paint our local Patrick Owens Covered Bridge.

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‘chokecherries at the Patrick Owens Bridge’ Jane Tims

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As time goes on, I will paint other covered bridges. They are so beautiful, each a work of art and engineering. The artist’s challenge is to bring out the individuality of each bridge and illustrate its place in our history and landscape.

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All my best,

Jane Tims

 

 

first ephemeral snow

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DSCF5206

snowflakes

absorbed by wet pavement

as though

they never existed at all

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all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 30, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Jack-o-lanterns

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pumpkins, anonymous Jack-o-lanterns

huddle in snow, flakes melt

and tears slide down

undifferentiated

cheeks

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people pass by and fail

to recognize

featureless

family

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Happy Hallowe’en

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 26, 2018 at 10:23 pm

sampling a story

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This week, my new book Meniscus: Karst Topography is out. Follow the continuing adventures of the Humans at Themble Hill … aliens have taken Kathryn, Meghan, Vicki and Madoline from the Village and the Slain go on a dangerous rescue mission to Prell. But at least two of the women don’t need to be rescued … they have found their own ways to get the better of the Dock-winders.

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Did you know you do not have to purchase the book if you are part of KU (Kindle Unlimited) and KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library). Just go to Amazon and read a sample of the book before you decide to buy or not. This is a support for authors since authors are paid by KDP for pages read. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1548434396

Karst Topography cover

Thank you so much for trying out my new book or any of the series.

All my best,

Jane  (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Small miracles

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As I go through life, I occasionally encounter oddities so unexpected I think of them as small miracles. At least my interpretation is that some unseen force is at work, sending me messages of hope and faith.

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After my mom died, a small yellow warbler came to our window for most of the first year, an example of the kind of messaging I mean.

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Today I saw a small miracle, in a pot on the railing of the back deck. Although we have had several frosts, and although I have not planted pansies in the pot for at least three years, a little pansy plant was blooming in the pot.

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I am a biologist, so I know these things can be explained away. There was a stray pansy seed in the pot. Pansies are hardy plants. The house wall was only a few centimetres away, protecting the pot from frost. I know these things but my interpretation stands. And I have only gratitude.

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

October 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

Authors Coffee House October 25

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Looking forward to another of our Authors Coffee Houses. Chuck Bowie, author of the Donovan: Thief for Hire Series, will be reading from his work-in-progress:

‘Death Between the Walls’ – An Old Manse Cozy Mystery
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‘When Emma returns to small town New Brunswick to manage the Manse Arts Centre, she assumes the tenants will be the challenge. And then people start dying…’
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The reading will take place at 7 PM on Thursday evening (October 25, 2018) at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1224 Highway 101 in Nasonworth.
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There will be coffee, tea, juice, and cookies from The Goody Shop.
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A free will offering will go to support the Fredericton SPCA.
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You will be first to hear from Chuck’s new book! We always have a lot of fun and lots of time for questions.
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All my best,
Jane

Written by jane tims

October 21, 2018 at 8:22 pm

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